Monday, December 14, 2009

Busy busy

Everything has suddenly got really busy and I've hardly had time to sit down and check my emails - let alone write a blog! I've got lots of things to do for uni before Christmas so I am trying to work on those in the evenings whenever I can.

We went and got a christmas tree last weekend from Chopwell woods, half way there we realised we didn't have our wellies with us but it wasn't as muddy as last year so our shoes survived. It's funny to have the tree decorated and all before Christmas eve. We had people from church over for mulled wine and some christmas cakes etc yesterday so if it hadn't been for that I would have wanted to wait until next weekend before getting the tree but it was nice to have the tree for everyone to see.

Henrik loves pulling the baubles off the tree, I am yet to discover a successful technique in stopping him so at the moment all the fragile decorations are on the top branches and towards the bottom are the less fragile ones.

Some one brought along a box of chocolates yesterday and had some. His tastebuds have been awakened to the taste of good things now and this morning when I gave him his bowl of porridge he pushed it away saying 'more chocolate, more chocolate'...

Friday, October 30, 2009

Learning to say no

Everything is no at the moment with Henrik.

"would you like a yogurt Henrik?" and the answer is "no" whilst he is climbing to his chair to be ready to eat it.

"would you like to go outside?" and again the answer is "no" whilst he is sitting on the bottom step trying to put his shoes on.

So it's all fun and games - you are wondering did he really mean no or was it a no because he just likes saying no!

He has also learnt to say Jack (the boy next door) this week and couple of other words. I keep being amazed by all these words he can say, mainly because I speak Finnish to him so I haven't even realised that he has heard the word he is saying, let alone learnt to say it.

One of Henrik's favourite books at the moment is Santtu kukkuu, he loves to have it read over and over again. Next time we are in Finland I'll have to get some more for him as he really likes the pictures in them - more than the story at the moment I think!

It's half term this week so I haven't had Rosie to look after and it's been funnily quiet - Henrik has had no one to squabble with about the doll's push chair or his trains. But next week is back to normal - busy and crazy but very enjoyable.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Birthday boy

Henrik had his 2nd birthday the day after we got back from the US. We had a little party for him with just us and Jean (his nanny) on the actual date and then the following weekend we had couple of his little friends over for a party.

The first couple of presents he wasn't too sure what to do with them but by the end of the week he'd got to full swing of opening presents. He got very upset when he wasn't allowed to open a present that we'd got for Andy and Naomi as a good-luck-at-university-thank-you-for-all-the-babysitting-present...

And Henrik definitely approved of cake. Lots of it :) On his real birthday we had a little cake for him and he blew the candles out fine but when we had more people around he was not too sure about what to do as everyone was looking at him and in the end his friend Nathan helped him to blow the candles out.

Holiday snaps

Here are some snaps from our trip to South Carolina. The weather was gorgeous and we spent most of the time on the beach. Henrik absolutely loved it and it was easy entertainment for him as he could run, scream, splash and do whatever he wanted. We discovered that visiting cute little towns with cute little shops and coffee houses is not too popular with him or it's too much effort for us to keep him interested in the above so beach was definitely the place to be with no extra entertainment required!

We did do a one short little town visit to Georgetown, SC. But it was very brief, we had a lovely lunch in a little restaurant that had a huge fishtank by our table that kept Henrik amused :) And then we had a very very brief wander around and saw some signs telling us not to feed the alligators! We didn't see any though :(

So here we are on our stroll in Georgetown
Henrik chilling on the beach
Building a sandcastle with daddy
Feeding mummy a very sandy biscuit
Amicalola falls in Georgia

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Southern comforts and miracles

We are back from the sunny South Carolina. We had lovely time catching up with friends, making some new ones and just chilling on the beach. We have tasted all sorts of southern delights ranging from grits for breakfast (a bit like semolina, only grainier, made with milk and butter), fried chicken, pancakes and bacon for breakfast and fried gruper (white fish). The weather was lovely and we spent most of our time on beach just chilling.

When we got back home we were faced with cold weather, dead battery in a car and poor Jean with trapped nerve in her shoulder and possibly having to have 6 weeks off...which in turn would have meant that I would have had to have 6 weeks off. I was so tired after flying over night, not sleeping & time difference that I didn't even have to energy to pray apart from saying to God that I couldn't see a way around, please help-type prayer. And it's all got resolved amazingly - my next door neighbors childminder has resigned leaving her in a pickle so we are going to help each other out, she is going to have Henrik two days a week and I am going to have her two two days a week - how great is that! Yay God!!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Time flies

Time does fly, it's the end of August already. Henrik will be two in two weeks from next Monday and David just had his 30th last Sunday! Can't believe Henrik is already two! I can't believe David is 30 either!!! We were 19 when we met...

We had a lovely weekend celebrating David's birthday. Ol(iver) and Becky & Amy came up for the weekend. On Saturday night we cooked a sea food paella on a bbq with lobster and everything. We also discovered that it is not good to put the lobster in too deep water...On Sunday we had everyone from church around for cakes and buns. I'd baked little bit everyday for the last couple of weeks so we had plenty of cakes which is good as we had 50+ people around. Lots of fun and lots of washing up - thank God for dishwashers :)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

No no no - on development of speech

One of Henrik's latest words is no. Everything is no...Would you like to go to bed? No, no, no! Digger is also an other useful word that has appeared in his vocabulary this week. One day he was pretending to be on the phone to someone and the only identifiable word in his 'conversation' was digger at very regular intervals. He is still calling ankka (duck) kakka (poo) which is not such an issue as no-one else usually understands him. Every now and then when we are walking about and he sees a bird he shouts out in very delighted manner kakka!!!

One of the funniest things is that when Henrik is just chatting away everyone thinks he is speaking in Finnish...but he is to their disappointment just chattering away in his own language :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My mind seems to be on break and I can't seem to even think of a title for this blog! Never mind. We've had the kitchen/dining room floor sanded over the last couple of days and the front room is looking like a bedsit with the dining table and fridge there. Hopefully tonight we can put stuff back into the room which should be good. Now we just need to get some lovely finnish rag rugs for the floor and I'll be all cosy :)

We had a lovely week in Finland. We've been back for a week or so and the weather hasn't been the best but at least we feel like we've had summer after having a nice sunny week in Finland. We spent sometime in the cottage with my parents and two of my sisters which was wonderful and then we were in Helsinki for rest of the time. We didn't actually do that much at all, just enjoyed the sunshine and sat in parks and watched Henrik run around.

Henrik loved going to Finland, airports, planes, trams, trains, boats, metros...what more could a little toddler ask for...oh and he had lots of blueberries and strawberries too - I think having my sisters pick blueberries for him was definitely one of his favourite parts of holiday!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Summer fun

Well, we've finally had some summer weather. Hot, sunny and wonderful. Henrik loves teh water. We've had his tiny paddling pool in the garden for the last couple of days and he has spent long time watering the plants using the water from the paddling pool with the help of a little cup or just generally splashing about.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Where is the sun?

It has been funny weather today. Mainly raining but then every now and then it clears up and makes you think it is going to be lovely for rest of the day but then the rain starts again. We've been a bit under the weather last couple of days. Henrik picked up tummy bug from somewhere and was sick Thursday night so we didn't get much sleep and are feeling very tired but have managed to resist getting the tummy bug so far.

We got a little kids brio train set for Henrik when we were in Liverpool. Henrik absolutely loves it. Nathan came to play with him on Thursday and we had an incident...before Henrik has been very happy for Nathan to play with any of his toys, even the ones Henrik was playing with but now he was not impressed. There are four carriages in the train set which would logically be two each but now Henrik wanted all of them! So it all ended in tears with Henrik throwing one of the carriages at Nathan and with superb aim manage to hit Nathan squarely on the head so we had Henrik crying because I'd told him that he can't throw toys at people and Nathan crying because he had just had a train land on his head. Nice relaxing afternoon playtime ;)

Here is one more picture from camping. Henrik playing on the beach at the last campsite where we stayed.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Thursday's thoughts

There are still more camping photos to come. They just need some sorting first, we took 839 photos in a week! What can you say - it's so easy to snap away with digital cameras...But here are some pictures of ferns we took when we went for a walk in the Tay Forest. I love the unfurling ferns, they are so delicate and so pretty.

Henrik hasn't been sleeping well over the last couple of days. He goes to bed well but then at some point he wakes up and cries. He had temperature on Monday night but Tuesday night and last night there wasn't anything wrong with him he was just very restless. Last night he did actually sleep but woke up at 5am, not good when you have sleepy parents! He did come to our bed but didn't stay still for long. Now he is having a long morning nap to make up for the early wake up time.

David has ordered a shed and it's arriving tomorrow. That will make life much easier as we don't have that much storage space at the moment. All of David's tools are in boxes in the cupboard under the stairs and if he needs one tool he needs to take all of the boxes out of the cupboard! So all the little quick jobs that need doing are not actually that quick and little when you need to spend five minutes moving boxes to get the hammer out of the cupboard. The shed wont be put up until next week though as it is Olly's 30th birhtday celebrations this weekend which will keep us busy.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Camping photos 1

Here are some pictures from the campsite in Perthshire were we stayed for three nights with Richard and Beth and the boys. The weatehr was overcast and cloudy and it rained every now and then but overall it was quite good. We went for couple of walks, explored Pitlochry and generally just chilled around. Henrik enjoyed throwing stones into the loch. The campsite was by Loch Tummel and it was nice and quiet.

Monday, June 01, 2009


We are just back from week's camping in Scotland and we had a brilliant time. The weather wasn't that brilliant to start with but by the end of the week it was boiling hot. Henrik loved the sea. I'm off to uni now, school away day...walk by a river followed by a pub lunch, nice easy way back to real life :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Summer's here

Well, summer's nearly's not hot but it is not cold but a sure sign of summer is being able to walk in the garden bare footed. Henrik had his first barefooted walk in the garden today and he loved it! 

Friday, May 08, 2009

My 501st post

I had somehow managed to miss that the fact that my last post was the 500th! Never mind. 

Here some pics from the park yesterday. I met Paula and Nathan&Ilja in the park before their toddler music group. We had nice time, it was very windy but Henrik still enjoyed it.

Friday, May 01, 2009


I saw this on BBC news website today, definitely a potato overload!
Also I have discovered that I'm I have been in contact with a person who has been in contact with a person who has been in contact with a person with swine flue. The person with confirmed case of swine flue in Newcastle shares a house with some students and one my friends from work shares and office with a lecturer who has been teaching those students! It is a small world.
David's away in a conference with some of the men from church but Alison and her two sons have come up from Plymouth for gymnastics competition so we've got a full house. It's lovely to see them, the last time we saw them was a year ago when they last came up for the competition.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Ear infection and other fun things

Time just seems to fly by and I don't get around to updating hte blog - oh dear. The powercord of the lap top is dead so we are using the desktop at the moment, which means I can't play on the computer whilst David is watching match of the day so consequently I don't update the blog as often as I should. Poor excuse I know!

Henrik has ear infection at the moment and the doctor gave him some antibiotics for it. He is slowly getting better. On Monday, the day we went to doctors, he just wanted to be held and cuddled all day and didn't really do much else than sleep on my lap. His got a nasty cough and some temperature too but he is on the mend. 

We went to the Churchill playing fields the other night with him to see the new park and Henrik enjoyed it thoroughly. He was quite happy just wondering around and looking all the new slides and swings. He tried the slide couple of times but it was more fun climbing up and down the grassy bank than going down the slide. David and I had a good go on the see-saw and enjoyed ourselves too.

We've also been digging in the garden. When the lawn was put in, the lawnmen just pushed all the extra soil in the back corner so the flowerbed in the back corner is good 50cm higher than rest of the borders so we've been trying to level it with the others but I think it will take at least couple more trips to the tip with the soil before we are level...

Friday, April 17, 2009

Just a quick note

David put some of the photos from our camping trip on flickr so go and have a look there if you got time. 

Easter has been and gone, time seems to be flying by this spring, I still can't get over the fact that it is mid April! My chocolate fast for the lent is over but I haven't really missed chocolate at all which has been quite funny, but I have had some nevertheless :)

Thursday, April 09, 2009


Last weekend we went camping in Dent with Olly and Becky to test out Henrik's new sleeping back and of course to spend some time with them. The weather wasn't the warmest but at least it didn't rain. Saturday was the gloomy day but it was nice to be outdoors, we went to Askrigg and walked to Mill Gill Force, local waterfall, had lunch in a pub and just drove and wondered around various places.

Sunday the sun came out and it was really nice, still cold because of the wind but  it was glorious. We went for a walk around Dent, up a fell, down a fell, along the river, across the river, and along the river again. Henrik was in fits of giggles throwing pebbles into the water with Becky.

The weather forecast for the Easter weekend is cold and miserable so I think we are staying home this weekend. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Camping in mind

We are off camping in the Yorkshire dales with Olly and Becky in couple of days time. So we bought Henrik a sleeping bag to keep him warm in the English spring weather. He was very pleased with the sleeping bag, trying the zips and even putting the bunny to sleep in it. Hopefully it will be a success when we are camping and he'll sleep happily.

Henrik also had his first haircut on Sunday by Andrea at church, he looks very smart with the new haircut. You can see it slightly better in the bottom photo.

I've been enjoying my sewing machine David got me for my birthday. I made Henrik an apron and mended a pair of David's cycling trousers. It is really nice to have a sewing machine that works like dream and is all mine rather than borrowed :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The great outdoors

Henrik has discovered that he likes being outside. In the morning, pretty much the first thing he does when we come downstairs is to bring his shoes or wellies to me or stand by the back door with them! Last weekend he spent pretty much all of the weekend building mudpiles in the garden and pushing his little cart back and forth.

He is also starting to get very fascinated by the toilet. Yesterday morning I rescued his cuddly bunny from being drowned in the toilet. Thankfully he hasn't learnt to flush it yet...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Hungry caterpillar

It's the google logo today. I like it :) Especially as the hungry caterpillar has been Henrik's reading favourite for a while.

Monday, March 16, 2009

My assistant

Jean was poorly last week so I was working from home couple of days. Henrik was very keen to help me and quite a few of my papers now have little scribbles over them where he got hold of the pen whilst I wasn't looking. He is getting very fast at climbing on the chairs! Hopefully it's not too long and I can get him to do my writing for me :)

We had a lovely weekend with Martin and Victoria in Yorkshire. On Saturday morning I was helping Victoria to dig up some molehills for her vegetable pots whilst David was helping elsewhere. Henrik was not too sure about the uneven ground on the molehill field and thought it was safer to look at them whilst on his tummy. 

On Sunday we went to church and Henrik was adored pretty much by the whole congregation, we thankfully had just about enough raisins to keep him quiet for the duration of the service. He was slightly disappointed at communion time when he wasn't given anything to eat when everyone else was...

My chocolate fast for the lent is going well but I did have a piece of chocolate cake on Saturday to celebrate my birthday, apart from that it is coming up to three weeks with no chocolate or biscuits and I'm surprised how easy it has been.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sunday walk

On Sunday before lunch we went for a quick wander in Holywell Dene with Hanna and Juho. Henrik is in a backcarrier for most of the walk but we usually let him walk for a  little bit of the way. The problem is that he more often than not wants to go to exactly the opposite direction to everyone else!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Hanna and Juho (my sister and her hubbie) came for a long weekend this last weekend or for an extra long weekend really as it was from Wednesday to Friday. We had a lovely time with them. I was off uni all the time whilst they were here which was nice. It was really nice just to be able to spend some quality time with them as when we go to Finland it usually feels like bit of a whirlwind visit as there are so many people to see in such a short time.

One day Henrik and I went to Newcastle with them and we walked down to the Quayside, saw all the bridges, had a quick nose around a Yoko Ono exhibition that was on the Baltic after which they spent the afternoon shopping. Another day we went to Alnmouth and Alnwick, walked on the beach, had pub lunch and saw some pretty country side. The weather was lovely for pretty much all of the visit, blue sky, hardly any clouds and sun, what more could you ask. It was nice and crisp in the mornings but by midday the sun was actually quite warm - if you were sheltered from the wind!

On Saturday we went searching for Hadrian's wall. When we first moved up here, David and I tried to go for a walk by the wall, but only ended up walking alongside slightly raised bit of earth that was covered by grass and that you had to imagine to be the wall - mainly because our book of the Hadrian's wall walks told us that it was in fact piece of the 2000 year old wall rather than some old farmers stone wall that had disintegrated and disappeared into the landscape. 

So I was determined to see a proper piece of the wall...and finally after about 40 minutes of driving we saw it. It was definitely the wall - it even had a sign by it telling us that it was. Hanna was more interested in taking some pics of the sheep that shared the field with the ancient piece of architecture than the wall itself!

Updates on Henrik, yesterday he learnt to climb on the kitchen chairs. Today he conquered the table!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Showing off

Continuation to the photos below. Here is the actual moment when he got the cat's head on the toy, the fact that he forgot to put couple of the rings before the head didn't seem to slow him down. He is very good with this kind of toys, the funny thing is most of them have age recommendation of 18 months but his been able to stack them since he was about 11 months. Pure genius I would say...but I am extremely biased :)


Here are some serious concentration photos of Henrik playing with his toys. He sometimes gets very very serious and concentrates hard, this was one of the occasions, first playing with his car and then trying to get a wooden ring on a pole, very serious business!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Babble babble

Henrik's vocabulary has increased from wuh-wuh, o-ou, hiya and byebye over the last week or so. He has three new words: juice, tyhjä and no-no-no.

When he starts to get hungry he comes to the kitchen and starts pointing to anything edible or drinkable in his sight and says juice over and over again.

And when he has finished eating or drinking, or when David or I have finished eating or drinking something he he says tyhjä (empty in finnish) and throws his arms up in the air in wonder where did it all go.

No-no-no is his new favourite and he seems to like the sound of it so he is sometimes saying no-no-no just for hte fun of it. Other times like nappy change he applies it very effectively. His no is also sounding very northern at the moment with no u-sound in the end of the word!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

In the park

Henrik and I went to the park this morning and he had a brilliant time playing. The slide is definitely his favourite, he could have spent hours sliding down. Unfortunately the steps are two high for him to climb up so I had to lift him up there and after 10 or 15 minutes I was too tired so we moved onto the see-saw which required a bit less effort on my part!

Henrik also really into metros/trains at the moment. If we walk from ours to Whitley Bay we cross a metro bridge and more often than not there is a metro going past when we are near it. He is starting to recognise the noise the metro makes before it is visible and he starts to get very excited. It is very sweet, he waves to it as it goes past.

Last Friday Henrik and I had lunch with the girls from work and took the metro into Newcastle. We also went and had a coffee with Katie from church. When we were having coffee (or tea and hot chocolate) there was a little girl sitting on the table next to us and Henrik gave her one of his big disarming smiles and the little girl ended up feeding most of her ice cream portion to Henrik who was very willing to eat it! On the way home Henrik had a treat as we sat on the first seat in the metro next to the driver, he got very excited by every metro which passed us.

Time seems to be flying by, it is nearly March! The evenings are starting to get lighter which is nice. It is nice to leave uni and it is still light. I had my second annual assessment for my PhD couple of weeks ago, hopefully I should hear soon how it went. I am doing more interviews at the moment so that's nice, something different to do :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I find Cadbury's chocolate too sweet but this advert nearly makes up for the overly sweet chocolate!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Weekend fun

Olly and Becky came up for the weekend and we had a very nice time doing nothing. Yesterday we went to the park and the highlight for Henrik was playing in the big puddle - forget the slides and the swings! We also had the tightest ever game of chinese chequers, Becky winning by one move.

We haven't seen much snow at all here over the last week, much to my disappointment the arctic conditions haven't made it to here in the north east. We've had a slight dusting but apart from that life has been going on here as usual. But I remain hopeful, there is always tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Henrik baking korvapuusti

Mums and toddlers

I was at mums and toddlers first time for couple of months. Jean has changed the days she looks after Henrik and instead of Wednesday he is at hers on Thursday so I got to go to mums and toddlers today.

It was funny to see how much all the little ones had grown. There were three mums who were pregnant when I was there last time in November and they all had had their babies. Henrik wasn't one of the small ones anymore, he was in the majority, definitely a toddler rather than a baby!

Henrik and I baked some korvapuusti couple of days ago. Henrik was doing really well for a while, rolling out the dough very nicely but then he got a taste of the dough and after that all he wanted to do was to eat the dough! I did try to tell him that eating too much yeasty dough is not good for your tummy, but he was not worried.

I had my second annual assessment on Monday, which means I've been doing my PhD for 21 months now, it's gone quickly. I had to check and count the months when the email came through from the graduate school telling me it was time to arrange my next assessment, I felt like I'd just had the last one. I should get the report in couple of weeks time but I think I should have passed comfortably.

I spoke at church on Sunday which was quite fun. My passage was Ephesians 2:1-10, all about us being brought to life by God so I spoke about transformation and change. It was funny preparing because all I could think of was a song we used to sing in a Sunday school about us being saved through grace as a gift of God (silla armosta me olemme pelastetut, emme tekojemme kautta ettei kukaan kerskaisi...)

Marks and Spencer's have their two packets of cookies for £2 offer on again so we have nice biscuits in the office again :)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Little helper

I was putting a load of washing on this morning, put all the clothes in the machine and thought that I'd better go and check if there were any washing left upstairs as there was some more room. When I came back from upstairs this is what I was faced with!!!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Puddles on the beach

We went to the beach* this morning and had a lovely walk. Henrik loved the puddles and pools. He was not happy when we stopped him from exploring the ones that were too deep. It was quite blustery and he toppled over couple of times when the wind caught his waterproof suit and filled it up like a sail. 

It's been really nice having relaxed weekend. Last weekend we had a lovely time in conference with Ivan and Isabel but by Sunday night we were exhausted after having 3 late nights in a row. So today the walk is pretty much the only thing we have done and the only thing we are planning to do :)

*our favourite, Druridge Bay about 30 minutes drive up the coast

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Henrik and his car

Little bear

Henrik got the cutest little hat from my sisters for Christmas. Everyone who has seen it absolutely adores it, Henrik usually gets adored anyway but the hat has definitely added to his cuteness potential!
We went to the pharmacy this morning to pick up a prescription for some eye drops and Henrik was on full form, the lady behind the counter got the smiles, got his pretend shy action and waves. 
We did go to the park as well but didn't stay long, it was cold and windy and we were the only ones there. Henrik loves the slide so he would have happily stayed there all day long but I started to get cold...
Now he is supposed to be going for his morning nap but I can hear him rattling the side of his cot!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Going potty

We've been thinking of starting potty training with Henrik sometime in the spring so out of interest I had a look of what amazon has to offer on the potty front. To our amusement there quite a few products with names that tickled our sense of humour, my favourites were the piddle pad and toodle loo

I did also discover that you can get a royal potty that has two different types of musical rewards and some reward stickers, or you can go for the deluxe fun-to-learn potty that you can learn not just going to the potty but songs and words! Slightly more on the economical line of potties is the musical car potty that plays variety of popular tunes, at £14.19 it is definitely a bargain!

But not to worry, I learnt to use the potty without musical rewards so the most likely potty Henrik is going to have a trustworthy (and of course Scandinavian) baby bjorn there is a deluxe model available on that one as well but I think we'll start with the box standard version which you can get from the good old john lewis.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

The first stocking

Henrik had his first stocking this year and it was a great success. He loved opening the little pressies and crunching up the wrapping paper. We opened rest of the presents in the afternoon and he loved that too, tearing the paper open and finding what was inside. He was so interested in the new toys that we saved some of the presents to be opened on the boxing day - not sure if we can do that next year!